Applicant 18: Corlinda Wooden

Corlinda Wooden is a 32-year-old Regional Branch Manager with Unitus Community Credit Union ($915M) in Portland, Oregon, USA.

Synopsis: When you look at statistics and read articles around you it is clear the branch environment is changing. Some argue that branches will not be needed in the future with all of the new technology we have in place now and with what is coming in the future. I beg to differ and say that would only be true if you were looking at the technology and the business sides of design thinking. This is a dangerous approach because the human element strongly suggests otherwise. Yes, teller transactions are dropping at a faster rate but the human touch points with members have not dropped. When you look at how many times a member comes into a branch for consultation regarding their life events we have actually increased the volume of members we serve. Knowing this, the human element needs to be the first lens we look through when redesigning the branch environment. First, we need to learn what our members want from us and how we can better advise them to be financially successful. Second, we need to adjust the roles in the branch and ensure we have the right people in the right positions. Then we need to train our staff to be experts in these roles and our coaches to be supporters and developers for success. When the teams feel valued and empowered they are better equipped to meet our member's needs. Third, we need to focus on the physical structure and the tools used in the branch. We no longer need the expensive branch structures with the large square footage. We need structures that are inviting, promote interaction, and fit with the unique culture of the community they are located in. If you are just as passionate as I am about the evolution of the branching world and the positive impact it will make for our members and teams, then please vote for me. Thank you!

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